The Arkamo Rangers were a Springfield, Missouri bluegrass band with simple and traditional sound yet rebellious and questioning lyrics celebrating modern life with traditional ways. Their name combines the namesakes of the states of Arkansas and Missouri, both of which share the Ozark Mountains, a region the Rangers considered "theirs" and named "The Arkamo."
The Arkamo Rangers formed in 2002 and produced two albums: self-titled Arkamo Rangers (2004) and more recently, A New Timey Thrill (Mayapple, 2006). They disbanded in 2008.
Their newer album, A New Timey Thrill, is by far the more professional of their two albums, but their original self-titled album gets the Rangers' point across with exceedingly rebellious songs such as "Summertime and Whiskey," which celebrates Ozark moonshine, and the sardonic Underneath a Smile (is just a set of teeth). The original band members have diverse and distinct personalities.
Dave Harp (mandolin),
Dan Spencer (banjo),
Jimmy Rea (guitar),
Gary Rea (bass),
Chad Graves (dobro),
Mark Cassidy (banjo, joined after second album),
Nolan Lawrence (mandolin, vocals),
Members Mark Cassidy, Jim Rea, and Gary Rea, Chad Graves formed the Hillbenders with Nolan Lawrence on mandolin and vocals when the Rangers disbanded in 2008 1. The Hillbenders won the 2009 Telluride Bluegrass Festival Band Competition.
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